Acting as Party Wall Surveyors
As a regulated firm of Chartered Surveyors we regularly deal with party wall matters in varying complexity for both building owners and adjoining owners.
Your Party Wall Specialists:
What to do?
If you are looking to extend your home or convert your loft space you may need to serve notice on your neighbours under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
There are three types of party wall notice that you may need to serve before starting your project:
|1. Line of junction notice||this is when you are building a new wall on a boundary|
|2. Party structure notice||if you are carrying out works to a party wall or party structure|
|3. Notice of adjacent excavation||if you are digging within 3m away from your neighbour to a depth lower than their foundations. There is also a 6m rule that would normally apply if you were installing piled foundations.|
Examples of work notifiable under the Act
- Constructing foundations for your extension within 3m from your neighour’s property
- Laying below ground drains within 3m from your neighbour’s property
- Cutting into a party wall to insert padstones to support beams for your loft conversion
- Removing chimney breasts from the party wall
- Underpinning a party wall
- Building a new garden wall up to the line of the boundary
You need to allow enough time before serving notice before doing the construction works.
The notice periods in the Act are as below:
|Type of notice||Statutory notice period|
|Line of junction notice||1 month|
|Party structure notice||2 months|
|Notice of adjacent excavation||1 month|
Party wall matters can be complex and you will benefit from specialist advice before notice is served.
What happens next?
- Put simply, once a party wall notice lands on your neighbour’s doorstep they have three options:
– Consent to the works
– A party wall award is not required and you can simply proceed with your notifiable works.
– We would advise for a schedule of condition to be prepared which can prevent rise of spurious claims however, this is optional.
- Dissent to the works and appoint their own surveyor
– A party wall award is required and you will need to appoint a party wall surveyor.
– A party wall award once in place authorises the notifiable works you are looking to do and details how these must be completed. For example, if you are forming trenches for your foundations that you must install temporary shoring supports.
– The award will also contain a clause for you to rectify any damage caused to your neighbours property. Most of the time neighbours prefer to have an award in place as to protect their property. If a neighbour choses this option you will be liable to pay for their party wall surveyor’s professional fees as well as your own surveyors fees.
- Dissent to the works and appoint an ‘agreed surveyor’
– A party wall award is required although, there is only one party wall surveyor acting for both owners.
– For this option you will have only one set of surveyor’s fees to pay.
Other considerations to have in the back of your mind
Sometimes a neighbour can ask for security for expenses which is usually a sum of money put into an Escrow account to cover damage that might occur to your neighbour’s property or, if you abandon your project.
Examples where this might apply are as follows:
- Carrying out a basement extension
- Rebuilding a party wall
- Underpinning of the party wall
If the works are more complex in nature, occasionally an advising engineer should be appointed in order to ratify your engineers proposals.
How we can help
We regularly deal with party wall matters in varying complexity for both building owners and adjoining owners.
As well as being a regulated firm of Chartered Surveyors our specialist Party Wall Surveyor is a member of both the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors and Pyramus and Thisbe Club.
The first step in the process is for drawings to be reviewed in order to establish the notice requirements. Valid notices must then be served on adjoining owners.
We always recommend you as the building owner have a sensible conversation with your neighbour to talk over the plans before notices are served.
For professional advice from our registered Party Wall Surveyors or to discuss your needs in detail, please contact us on:
0207 737 7243